Like many holidays, Veteran's Day signals a long weekend and an opportunity to relax. But it also gives us a chance to think about the men and women who have served in our wars...and those who are serving now. These brave men and women make tremendous sacrifices-not the least is leaving family and friends behind. Then, too, many military personnel have cats, just like us. So what happens to the puddies when service men and women are deployed and they have no family to take care of their animals? Operation Noble Foster to the rescue! ONF is a non-profit group that arranges foster care specifically for cats until their loved ones can return and take them back. Linda Mercer of Purebred Cat Breed Rescuers, who started the organization in 2001, after 9/11, got the idea to foster cats for the military after witnessing how shelters overflowed when soldiers were called up to serve in Dessert Storm. Since then, ONF has helped approximately 400-500 military personnel (who may have had one to several cats) secure foster homes for their felines. Sweet Magnolia was able to be reunited with her owner because of ONF Opening your heart and your home to a cat is not that difficult, says Mercer. The cost of food, litter, vet care and amenities for keeping the cat is paid for by the owner. "But, a lot of times," Mercer explains, "people who foster the cats refuse payment. It's sort of their way of showing appreciation for what the military do for us all." ONF explains the whole process-a complete everything- you'll- ever- want- to- know about fostering a military kitty, on their website, www.noblefoster.org. Then all you need add is love. Have a military-pet story? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share.
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